News

DATE=2/3/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-245039 TITLE=PAK / U-S TALKS (L-O) BYLINE=SARAH HORNER DATELINE=ISLAMABAD CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: PAKISTANI OFFICIALS SAY PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE IN TALKS HELD WITH THE U-S GOVERNMENT. AS SARAH HORNER REPORTS FROM ISLAMABAD, FEW DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE ABOUT THE DISCUSSIONS, WHICH FOCUSED ON NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION IN SOUTH ASIA. TEXT: A JOINT STATEMENT ISSUED BY U-S AND PAKISTANI OFFICIALS SAYS BOTH PARTIES SHOULD FURTHER EFFORTS TO PROMOTE PEACE AND STABILITY IN SOUTH ASIA. THE STATEMENT ALSO EXPRESSED STRONG SUPPORT FOR TALKS BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND INDIA. LONG-TERM TENSION BETWEEN THE TWO NEIGHBORS HAS INCREASED SINCE BOTH INDIA AND PAKISTAN CONDUCTED NUCLEAR TESTS LAST YEAR. BOTH COUNTRIES HAVE AGREED TO SIGN THE NUCLEAR TEST BAN TREATY ONCE ALL SANCTIONS RELATING TO THE NUCLEAR TESTS ARE LIFTED. THE U-S DELEGATION, HEADED BY DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE STROBE TALBOTT, HELD A DAY OF TALKS TUESDAY IN THE PAKISTANI CAPITAL, ISLAMABAD. PAKISTANI FOREIGN SECRETARY SHAMSHAD AHMAD SAYS THE DISCUSSIONS WERE GOOD, CHARACTERIZED BY THE SAME FRANKNESS AND CORDIALITY THAT MR AHMAD SAYS HAS ACCOMPANIED PREVIOUS ROUNDS OF TALKS BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND PAKISTAN. // AHMAD ACT // EIGHT MONTHS AND EIGHT ROUNDS. I THINK THAT IN ITSELF INDICATES THE SERIOUSNESS AND INTENSITY OF OUR ENGAGEMENT AND THIS ENGAGEMENT HAS BEEN FOR A PURPOSE. THAT PURPOSE HAS BEEN BRINGING OUR POSITIONS AND OUR RESPECTIVE CONCERNS AND OBJECTIVES CLOSER. DURING OUR EIGHT ROUNDS OF TALKS WE HAVE SIGNIFICANTLY ACHIEVED OUT OBJECTIVES. // END ACT // PAKISTANI JOURNALIST TALAT HUSSEIN SAYS TALKS INVOLVING THE UNITED STATES, PAKISTAN AND INDIA HAVE NOT ACHIEVED MUCH BUT ARE GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. // HUSSEIN ACT // U-S ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE KARL INDERFURTH HAD WARNED BEFOREHAND THAT THESE ARE NOT MAKE-OR-BREAK TALKS IN THE SENSE THAT BOTH SIDES WERE NOT EXPECTING ANY MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH. THE WHOLE PROCESS OF TALKS ITSELF SUGGESTS THAT THE TWO SIDES DO SEE A REASON TO TALK TO EACH OTHER. SO, I WOULD SAY THAT WHEREAS A CONCRETE, TANGIBLE OUTCOME HAS BEEN MISSING AT THE END OF THE TALKS, THE PROCESS STILL SEEMS TO BE HEADED TOWARD A POINT WHERE BOTH SIDES WILL BEGIN TO AGREE ON HOW TO CURB PROLIFERATION IN SOUTH ASIA. // END ACT // DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE TALBOTT HAS LEFT PAKISTAN. BUT THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR SOUTH ASIA, KARL INDERFURTH, HAS STAYED BEHIND, MEETING REPRESENTATIVES FROM AFGHANISTAN -- WHICH BORDERS PAKISTAN. // OPT // ONE MEETING WILL BE WITH THE TALEBAN ISLAMIC MOVEMENT WHICH CONTROLS MOST OF AFGHANISTAN. U-S OFFICIALS SAY ON THE AGENDA IS SAUDI DISSIDENT AND SUSPECTED TERRORIST OSAMA BIN LADEN, WHO LIVES IN AFGHANISTAN. THE TALEBAN HAVE PREVIOUSLY REFUSED U-S EXTRADITION REQUESTS FOR MR. BIN LADEN TO FACE CHARGES OF BOMBING U-S EMBASSIES IN AFRICA LAST AUGUST. (SIGNED) NEB/SLH/LTD/KL 03-Feb-99 10:11 AM EST (1511 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .